from the anything-salamanders-can-do dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "The Department of Defense has announced the creation of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine to 'harness stem cell research and technology... to reconstruct new skin, muscles and tendons, and even ears, noses and fingers.' The government is budgeting $250 million in public and private money for the project's first five years, and the NIH and three universities will be on the team. The military has been working on regrowing lost body parts using extracellular matrices and scientists in labs have grown blood vessels, livers, bladders, breast implants, and meat and are already growing a new ear for a badly burned Marine using stem cells from his own body. Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker explained that our bodies systematically generate liver cells and bone marrow and that this ability can be redirected through 'the right kind of stimulation.' The general cited animals like salamanders that can regrow lost tails or limbs. 'Why can't a mammal do the same thing?' he asked."